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Iran, B-737 plane shot down: first arrests

Rohani: "It was an unforgivable mistake"

The first people responsible for the plane crash near Tehran in which 176 people died were arrested in Iran this morning (see AVIONEWS). While Canada blames the tragedy for the escalation of violence that triggered after the killing of Iranian general Soleimani (see AVIONEWS), the judiciary ensures that all those responsible will be punished. Tehran judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced: "Extensive investigations have been conducted and some people have been arrested. We are tolerant of legal demonstrations, not of other gatherings of people".

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said during a television broadcast: "It was an unforgivable mistake and one person cannot be solely responsible for the accident. The Iranian armed forces admitting their mistake is already a good first step but now we need to make sure that such episodes never happen again". And he added: "the Government is responsible towards the Iranian Nation and other Nations that mourn the victims of the accident". Rohani also ordered the judiciary to set up a "special court" with a senior judge and dozens of experts to carry out the investigation.

Thirty people who took part in the protest demonstrations (see AVIONEWS) were also arrested after the admission of responsibility by Iran which had initially rejected the possibility that it could have been a missile to shoot down the B-737 of Ukraine Airlines (see AVIONEWS).

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency